So what exactly is a reverse French braid, anyway? The good news is, if you're familiar with a regular French braid, the reverse isn't too difficult to master (although it is a little harder to handle if you're used to the traditional French). Whereas a regular French braid will lay flat against your head, the Reverse French braid will appear to sit on top of the rest of your hair. This is because, instead of weaving the outer sections of hair over the middle section, they will weave under the middle section, causing some elevation. This handy elevation gives the reverse French braid an opportunity that its predecessor doesn't have: the chance to turn into a faux-hawk.
If you've ever wanted to try a braided faux-hawk, the reverse French is the braid to use. Instead of starting at the back of your head, you'll want to begin the braid as close to your hairline as possible. Make sure to spray some dry shampoo or a texturizer into your hair before you begin to add some volume (you can also tease your hair first). When you braid, make sure to pull tight so that your hair lays flat against the sides of your head. Then insert bobby pins parallel against the braid, and simply pull to loosen the braid itself. But I've gotten ahead of myself. Here are the five steps to take to nail the reverse French before you start your faux hawk.
1. Start At The Hairline
As you would begin a regular French braid, start by gathering a top section of hair as you would in a half-up, half-down look and divide it into three equal sections. Then, braid the three sections once with the two outside sections always moving under the middle section (as opposed to the outside sections weaving over the middle section in a regular braid).
2. Add Some Hair
Next, scoop up some hair from one side of your head and incorporate it into the section of hair that needs to be braided. In my case, I pulled hair from the right side of my head and added it to the right-most section of the braid. I then passed this newly-formed section of the braid under the middle section so that the middle section is now in the right-most position.
Then, simply repeat on the opposite side.
4. Keep Braiding
As you continue to braid, keep incorporating hair from either side into the sections that are being moved. Remember to always move the outside sections under the middle section instead of over. For a thinner braid, grab smaller sections of hair to incorporate. For a thicker braid, grab larger sections.
5. Finish The Ends
Once you reach the nape of your neck, pull the braid around the side of your head to easily continue the braid. Once you have a few inches of hair left, tie off the ends, and your Reverse French braid will rest nicely on your shoulder.
If you want to make it a faux hawk, here's how to proceed: